New Orleans’ infamous LaLaurie mansion, where an untold number of slaves are said to have been tortured and then savagely murdered nearly 200 years ago, will play a starring role in a new horror movie franchise.
The creators of “The Conjuring” movies recently signed on to make a series of movies about the mansion and the atrocities that took place there.
The three-story, real-life house of horrors already has a Hollywood history. The French Quarter home with a Baroque facade and balcony was previously owned by actor Nicolas Cage. And it was featured in the 2013 “Coven” season of the popular TV series “American Horror Story.”
The mansion was owned by local socialite Delphine LaLaurie, who allegedly brutalized her slaves, gouging out their eyes and tearing off limbs. A 12-year-old slave climbed to the roof and leaped to her death rather than suffer such cruelty, according to rumors.
When a fire broke out in the mansion in 1834, firefighters reportedly found the brutalized slaves chained in cages in the attic. They were freed.
Incensed by her treatment of the slaves, a mob reportedly ransacked the house. LaLaurie was said to have fled to Paris, and it’s still unknown what became of her.
The mansion is “one of the most extraordinary homes that I’ve ever sold,” says real estate broker Dorian Bennett, of Dorian Bennett’s Sotheby’s International Realty. He’s sold the home three times over the past 30 years, most recently to investor Michael Whalen, who paid $2.1 million for it in 2010. “It’s Old World architecture at its best.”
Over the years, Bennett has had a few unexplained incidents in the house that he chalks up to the supernatural. He declined to elaborate on what transpired.
“Everybody believes it’s the most haunted house in America because of the juju, the energy, the vibe,” Bennett says. “I know there are spirits in there.”
But a previous owner, Jay Monroe, CEO of satellite service provider Globalstar, has told realtor.com® that the house wasn’t haunted. He lived there for about a half-dozen years with his family. He sold the property to Cage in 2006 for $3.45 million. It went into foreclosure three years later, and then was sold to Whalen.
Whalen is one of the collaborators on the film franchise. He’ll be providing access to the property, which still attracts hordes of tourists each day who take pictures outside of its walls.
This won’t be the first time that “The Conjuring” creators, brothers Chad and Carey Hayes, have worked on a movie centered around a haunted house. “The Conjuring” franchise was also based on the “true story” of a haunted house in Rhode Island. Famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called in to investigate the unexplained occurrences.
“We love writing films in which we get to tell true stories—incorporating moments that people can look up and discover did in fact happen,” the brothers said in a statement. “With the LaLaurie house we get to do exactly that. There is a wealth of documentation of a very dark and frightening past of true events.”
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